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Sacramento Bee · Rick Kushman

"...terrific, if frightening. … This 90-minute look into what correspondent Douglas Rushkoff calls the 'persuasion industry' ought to be required viewing just for general self-defense. …"

Hollywood Reporter · Irv Letofsky

"We don't need much persuading to endorse 'Frontline' as our premiere public affairs series, especially with this sharply assembled study of 'The Persuaders,' a deadly chronicle of the massive industry that conspires to persuade us to buy products and ideas that we never knew we wanted. …"

The New York Times · Ned Martel

"…The program combines the practicality of an M.B.A. case study and the skepticism of a semiotics seminar. Mr. Rushkoff and his producers keep an ear open for quirky terminology which marketers craft at great expense and defend with high mindedness. … 'The Persuaders' will help you start to see these marketers as clearly as they see you."

Chicago Sun-Times · Lewis Lazare

"… chilling insight into the people and the tactics used to bond us to brands and get us to buy products. The 90-minute show, hosted by soft-spoken cultural anthropologist and media critic Douglas Rushkoff, clings for the most part to an objective point of view as it takes us behind the scenes to meet various marketers and listen to them explain what it is they do and why. A more pointed take on the material might have made it even more compelling. …"

Seattle Times · Kay McFadden

"…One of 'Frontline's' best productions all year, 'The Persuaders' is a fascinating delve into how today's marketers influence our choices, from cheese to political candidates to Boeing's plush Dreamliner.

…'The Persuaders' covers vast swaths of territory without neglecting many vital details. Wisely it doesn't try to reach for any sweeping conclusions. The program's balance may lie in the fact that for every marketing tactic that appalled me, others were enticing. But 'Frontline's' producers are discriminating. They note there's a big difference between pushing products and pushing political agendas. …Tape this show and save it for the next election cycle."

The Daily News, L.A. · David Kronke

"…FRONTLINE's report also pulls back the curtain on a company called Acxiom which draws from our credit histories and online behavior to create a profile of us for advertisers and demonstrates how politicians have adapted advertising precepts to both manipulate individual voters and promote dubious policies. ..."

Toronto Globe and Mail · John Doyle

"…A superb examination of the current state of marketing, it's an often humorous but scary report on the gullibility of the public. …"

Denver Post · Joanne Ostrow

"…a fascinating 90-minute tour of logos, brands and marketing messages. ... "This smart 90-minute marketing decoder says a lot about the American soul."

Hartford Courant · Roger Catlin

"…It feels like a compendium of advertising stories that have mostly been done before, and doesn't get really interesting until it gets to Republican political consultant Frank Luntz, who has made his name by renaming things for his party. …"

Kansas City Star · Jennifer Mann

"…In all, this is a fascinating peek inside the heads of the persuaders and the lengths they'll go to and the money they'll spend to convince us, at any cost, just how much we need their stuff."

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette · Rob Owen

"…If you're completely unfamiliar with modern marketing techniques, the entire 90 minutes may be revelatory. Those in the know may grow a little weary of the program, particularly the segment on product placement, which has already been well-documented. …"

Boston Phoenix · Clif Garboden

"…Don't get us started. A show about the cutting-edge techniques and disturbingly profound influence of marketing and public relations — a/k/a the Liars' Professions."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer · Maggie McFarland

"...a fantastic, frightening 90-minute journey through the inner workings of Madison and Vine, the meeting place where commerce and entertainment draw up plans to win the war over your spending money."

Boston Herald · Greg Gatlin

"…Consumers will look at advertising with a different eye after watching 'The Persuaders,' the WGBH 'Frontline' documentary exploring the inner workings of the marketing and advertising industries. …"


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posted nov. 9, 2004

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